There was a time when we whipped into the bathroom, showered and left. Even the bath-tubers felt guilty if they wallowed too long in the hot water.
Not any more, now we are being encouraged to luxuriate in the bathroom, spend time, drink wine, listen to relaxing music and generally soak up the ambiance of our new “spa-feel” bathroom; washing? – forget it!
It’s great if you have a big bathroom to transform, but if you have the standard sized bathroom, most of the important changes can apply to any size bathroom.
For a softer look in the bathroom that veers away from the functional aspect, the most relaxing atmosphere can be induced by paying attention to three major things. These are color, lighting, mirrors (plus a couple of other pointers).
The new soft, neutral earth tones are not only up-to-the-minute, they are also very relaxing. When changing colors of walls and floors, remember that accessories such as bamboo, natural rattan and wood also lend themselves to these colors. Cork flooring is also great for atmosphere, as it tones down any harsh noises and matches in with a neutral color scheme.
White is always prime choice in a bathroom, and when coupled with beige earth tones or palest silver gray it is relaxing yet still suggests a clean and fresh atmosphere.
Lighting can make one of the biggest differences, yet is inexpensive to change. Most likely you will need to keep your ‘bright, harsh lighting’ in place for shaving, making up etc. However, these lights can be used in the morning and then ignored when you want the ambiance to dominate.
Many people use candles for mood, but in a bathroom, it would be wise to use candles only as supplements to an existing subtle lighting system. Hidden lights can be soft, and will only reflect their light from bouncing off a wall. Lampshades also soften light, but can be clumsier in a bathroom.
For mood lighting in a bathroom, wall lights are number one. They can be placed one on each side of the mirror, or one each side of the towel rack so they will take up no counter space. If you choose wall lights with clear or frosted glass, soft pink or amber light bulbs can be used in the fittings to avoid having a white glare.
Mirrors of course, are a necessity in the bathroom. To visually enlarge a small bathroom, it is great to have one whole wall in mirror tiles. Even so, you will still need the ‘over the sink’ mirror, and the latest vogue is for framed mirrors.
The plain unframed mirror is out and in order to choose a frame – think art and paintings. Choose the type of frame that you would like to see around one of your pictures.
Remember when choosing a frame that the color of it will need to complement your color scheme. If you have chosen gray and white, the frame must be silver based – or at any rate not gold. However, gold will lend itself perfectly to the earth tones that are so popular.
New taps, towel rails, and bathroom accessories that match can provide a coordinated look and yet be a very inexpensive way to achieve this.
Finally be sure to find a soothingly scented plug-in air freshener and arrange to pipe very low, quiet music into your bathroom, or keep a small CD player in your bathroom cupboard which is loaded with three CDs of relaxing music.
Indulge in some expensive bubble bath; place a very small table close to the top of your bath-tub so you will have a spot to place your book and your wine glass. Cheers!